Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

CNHI/SE Iowa

October 31, 2012

Oskaloosa bids for Blue Zone designation

OSKALOOSA — Oskaloosa put its best foot forward as it met Tuesday with the team that will decide whether it joins the communities designated as Iowa Blue Zones.

Following introductions, the day’s activities began with a presentation focused on the community’s readiness to be a Blue Zones Project Demonstration site. Demonstration sites are being selected throughout Iowa. These sites can then become certified Blue Zones after a several month long period.

In discussing the community’s readiness to become a Blue Zones Project Demonstration Site, Oskaloosa City Manager Michael Schrock Jr. pointed to things like Team Mahaska and the Main Street Iowa office in Oskaloosa. He said the community isn’t afraid to get together on things.

Schrock would also go on to cite the large number of volunteers in the local community.

Cultural activities such as Art on the Square and the Oskaloosa City Band’s concerts, as well as Friday After Five were also highlighted by Schrock.

Gov. Terry Branstad’s Healthiest State initiative was also discussed by Schrock who then pointed to the Mahaska Wellness Coalition as a way to engage people.

Work on goals for the community, both minor and major, are constant, said Schrock. City-wide strategic planning and comprehensive planning are also priorities, he said.

Jay Christensen, CEO of Mahaska Health Partnership, spoke next. Christensen cited statistics pointing to obesity and lack of physical activity on the local level. He said there is a lot that can be done on these issues.

Christensen pointed to things like the Edmundson Aquatic Center and the recreation trail as positives for the community. Christensen also brought up things like the Lacey Recreation Complex and Penn Activities Center as assets to the community.

The Hospice House, new stadium at the Lacey Recreation Complex and Urban Park were also counted among the area’s assets by Christensen. Other areas garnering praise from Christensen were the Farmer’s Market nutrition education effort, Preschool Alliance, the Oskaloosa Public Library’s Reading Garden.

Christensen also talked about projects such as Caldwell Park, the recreational dog park and MHP’s expansion project as positives for the community.

Susan Boxler, president of the Oskaloosa Community School District Board, was also on hand during the readiness presentation. She cited the area’s many civic organizations as a strength. She too pointed to  the abundance of volunteerism in the area. Boxler noted the numerous church and otherwise organized volunteer efforts.

Mike Gipple of the Mahaska Wellness Coalition also expressed enthusiasm for the local community saying residents do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. He said the community is “on the rise” and that the area can be successful through the Blue Zones Program.

Tuesday’s site visit also included an overview of the Blue Zones Project and certification process. Mary Lawyer, of the Blue Zones Project Team, explained the origins of the Blue Zones Project and the process being conducted in Iowa. She also discussed the multifaceted nature of the Blue Zone’s Project, which goes beyond physical health initiatives. Lawyer also discussed the potential positive economic impact of the Blue Zones Project, as well as its link to the Healthiest State initiative.

Joel Spoonheim, also of the Blue Zones Project Team, spoke as well. Spoonheim pointed to the idea of making the healthy choice the easy choice. He also focused on the positive impact of having a purpose in life.

Spoonheim also pointed to the need for local leadership for the Blue Zones Project, including committees that meet regularly.

Tuesday’s site visit also included breakout sessions for those involved in city policy, employers, schools and media. The day was rounded out with a Power 9 & Leadership Team Session.

Spoonheim said selections for the demonstration sites will be in January 2013.

To learn more about the Blue Zones Project, visit http://www.bluezonesproject.com.

1
Text Only
CNHI/SE Iowa
  • 072214 Diamond Llama 1.jpg Llama on the loose corralled in Missouri town

    A llama on the lam cruised Main Street Tuesday before it mistook a resident’s fenced backyard for a place to grab a meal and freshen up.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • An oncologist uses scorpion venom to locate cancer cells

    Olson, a pediatric oncologist and research scientist in Seattle, has developed a compound he calls Tumor Paint. When injected into a cancer patient, it seems to light up all the malignant cells so surgeons can easily locate and excise them.

    July 22, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 2.00.42 PM.png VIDEO: Train collides with semi truck carrying lighter fluid

    A truck driver from Washington is fortunate to be alive after driving his semi onto a set of tracks near Somerset, Ky., and being struck by a locomotive, which ignited his load of charcoal lighter fluid.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • mama.jpg What we get wrong about millennials living at home

    If the media is to be believed, America is facing a major crisis. "Kids," some age 25, 26, or even 30 years old, are living out of their childhood bedrooms and basements at alarmingly high numbers. The hand-wringing overlooks one problem: It's all overblown.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push

    Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.

    July 21, 2014

  • Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits

    Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.

    July 21, 2014

  • Starved Pennsylvania 7-year-old weighed only 25 pounds

    A 7-year-old Pennsylvania boy authorities described as being so underweight he looked like a human skeleton has been released from the hospital.

    July 21, 2014

  • Fundraiser for soldiers' families approaching

    CENTERVILLE — Justin Zaputil remembers when Master Sgt. Travis Riddick died. The common reactions didn’t feel right. Mourning and then moving on left something undone. It didn’t seem to accomplish what Zaputil and a handful of others wanted. It didn’

    July 21, 2014

  • Malaysians wonder 'Why us?' after second loss of airline jet

    It was all too familiar. Grieving families rushing to airport. The flashing television graphics of a plane's last radar appearance. The uncomfortable officials before a heavy thicket of microphones.
    For many Malaysians, the disappearance of Flight 370 in March has been a long trauma from which the nation has not yet recovered.

    July 18, 2014

  • A quarter of the world's most educated people live in the 100 largest cities

    College graduates are increasingly sorting themselves into high-cost, high-amenity cities such as Washington, New York, Boston and San Francisco, a phenomenon that threatens to segregate us across the country by education.

    July 18, 2014

Features
AP Video
Raw: MD Church Built in 1773 Ravaged by Fire Flight to Tel Aviv From US Diverted to Paris AP Review: Amazon Fire Adds Spark to Smartphones Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Raw: Massive Fire Burns in North Dakota Town Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late
Facebook
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Upon completion and reopening of Third Street, should the City of Knoxville wait to start the next stage of the Streetscape and Infrastructure project until 2015?

Yes
No
     View Results